RUGBY: Davies savours all-round role
ALEX Davies is happy to be London Welsh’s Mr Versatile if it keeps him in the first-team picture.
Davies was switched from fly half to scrum half on the eve of Welsh’s Amlin Challenge Cup hammering of Cavalieri Prato after Tyson Keats and Nick Runciman failed fitness tests.
Tonight, he will start at No 9 against Stade Francais in Valenciennes, having played full back when the Exiles won promotion from the Championship.
Add to that the fact that Davies is a more than handy goal-kicker and he is a useful man to have around.
“Last season Gordon Ross was playing at ten and I was at 15,” said Davies.
“This season, I have usually played at ten, but I played nine in my younger years and it is a position I know well.
“As long as I am playing, I don’t mind where I play.”
Davies knew there were doubts over Keats and Runciman ahead of the Prato game, so was fully prepared to step into the No 9 shirt.
“I didn’t mind it,” he said. “I was happy to be playing to be honest.
“I was definitely able to enjoy the game.”
This week’s freezing temperatures have not made training easy, but Davies says it could hold them in good stead tonight.
“The pitch was a bit frozen this morning, so we did a bit more analysis on the game,” said Davies on Wednesday.
“It thawed in the afternoon, so we were able to get out there.
“It is -8 out in Valenciennes, so this weather is warm!”
Asked about how the cold weather might affect Welsh in France, Davies had one tactical innovation.
“Probably to stay inside for as long as possible,” he joked.
A torn abductor muscle kept Davies out earlier in the season and he admits it has been hard to make an impression on Welsh’s Aviva Premiership side He said: “These games coming up are good for boys like me to get practice in and push to be involved in the league.”
Reflecting on Welsh’s campaign so far, Davies added: “I think we have exceded a lot of expectations and think we will continue to do so.
“We are trying to play smart and know we have got a really good scrum, which is key in the Premiership.
“The second half of the season is crucial because teams will now have seen what we are like.
“We will need to bring something different to our game and I think we will pick up some more points.”